A Parent Rejects the Divisions and Argues for Solutions Now in Oakland

I am an Oakland public school parent. So I have joined this (oaklandpublicschoolparents) listserve believing it is all about improving our public schools for the students.

And time to read is precious, I work , and evenings are spent supporting my daughter’s public school as PTSA parent leader and getting my athlete back and forth to practice. But I listen hoping that there will be something said that can help me, which will help the schools of OUSD.


Please tell me what a national conversation about the success of charter schools — in other locales– has anything to do with Oakland?

Be honest. Be specific.

And please disclose in what school your children are being taught.

And please disclose which under-financed school in East or West Oakland you are volunteering in.

Then I will listen and say you have the cred to muddy our waters.

For my money OUSD has pulled it out of the deep water …with the help of charters who took on children of color. And without the help of the white families who ran away to private (with their money and time and skill.)

Today, after YEARS of hard work by the community who cared to attend the meetings and sit on the committees to increase public money and elect the right people–the good news is a 50% suspension rate decrease, increase in literacy and math scores, and more money for teachers.

Why are we still talking about other places and their charter mess?

Today, All Our Oakland Children need ALL our help by showing up to deal with Oakland’s real problems.

What I would like to hear on this listserve is call for help for one of our schools, a specific ask to improve and support our kids.

Not the latest article about the evils of charters elswhere.

For instance.

Come up to Skyline next weekend and be a part of beautifying the campus.

Help paint and renew and be a part of the community supporting Skyline with their new International Baccalaureate Program ? Such exciting news !

My African American daughter is in the first cohort. She will graduate with superior standings as a result of the amazingly hard work of OUSD teachers and administration.

This is Good News and I urge you to come and be a part of the goodness that has begun to flow from the spring of our Oakland school system– public and charter.

I have read the charter for the Black Lives Matter and it is a gorgeously well written and thought out document.

But, in other cities where  progressive and middle of the road Democrats didn’t join school boards and participate in local politics — that allowed bad charters, and bad local governance to flourish.

That has not happened in Oakland.  Instead we have a healthy ecosystem of different kinds of schools for all the different kinds of kids.

You all need to stop reading about the terrible news in other locales and come out for our kids with your energy.

Help rebuild and staff a library, bring food to high school teachers who give away their lunch, get on the playground be an anchor for safety, partner with an ESL parent accessing resources. There is so much to do.


Kind Regards,
Allison Rodman

This open letter was forwarded to me from oaklandpublicschoolparents listserve and printed with permissions from the author

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